During the holiday season, it’s common to overindulge on processed foods like sugar, refined carbohydrates and alcohol, which can not only leave us feeling a little bit silly, a little more jolly (if you know what I mean), but can also leave us with chronic low-grade inflammation.
Chronic low-grade inflammation has been associated with a wide range of conditions, including allergies, asthma, inflammatory bowel disease, autoimmune diseases, arthritis, heart disease and depression. But the good news is that a change in diet can help. So, check out these four top anti-inflammatory foods you can incorporate into your diet:
- Fiber – a fiber rich-diet helps reduce inflammation because fiber contains naturally occurring anti-inflammatory phytonutrients. The best sources of fiber include whole grain foods, fruits (such as bananas and blueberries) and vegetables (like okra, eggplant and onions).
- Naturally sweet fruit – refined sugars are high in glycaemic load (or GI), which causes insulin to spike and glucose levels to drop. This results in the all-familiar sugar crash and can encourage low-grade inflammation. So, instead, opt for brightly coloured fruits and vegetables, which will satisfy your sweet tooth and give you an antioxidant hit!
- Omega-3 fatty acids – omega-3 fatty acids have been shown to reduce inflammation. Cold-water, oily fish such as salmon, mackerel, trout and sardines are full of omega-3, as well as flax seed, walnuts and beans (such as navy, kidney and soy). You can also try a good quality omega-3 supplement.
- Herbs and spices – herbs and spices contain a high amount of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. So, liven up your meals with cinnamon, turmeric, rosemary, ginger, sage, thyme, cloves or oregano.
Want to see what else you can do to recover from the silly season?
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 PubMed. Chronic inflammatory diseases are stimulated by current lifestyle: how diet, stress levels and medication prevent our body from recovering. www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22510431
 PNAS. Omega-3 fatty acids cause dramatic changes in TLR4 and purinergic eicosanoid signalling. http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/83/4/760.full
This blog is intended as general information only. If symptoms persist, consult your GP.